“The media cycle tends to react more to what Trump says than what he does.”
That statement appeared in a September New York Times Magazine article authored by Princeton University sociologist Matthew Desmond. As I read it, I thought, “How honest,” especially as it was published in such an anti-Trump news organization.
The statement reflected the message in my Sept. 6 Sunday LNP | LancasterOnline op-ed (“Study the issues before you cast your ballot”). That message: Voters may be unaware of our pressing national problems and President Donald Trump’s successes, if they’re only concentrating on his tweets, comments and personality. His successes receive minimal attention from the majority of national news organizations. The result: Far too many voters are uniformed.
How sad for our country and for the process of choosing a president.
Meanwhile, information that should be readily available to all voters is minimized or obscured.
For instance, Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris denied in her debate with Vice President Mike Pence that Joe Biden would end fracking. A goal of Biden’s energy plan is to “achieve a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035.” His plan contains no explanation as to how this is possible without banning fracking or banning fossil fuels entirely. Will the national media seek clarification?
Relatedly, the U.S. Energy Information Administration has reported that “U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions decreased in 2019 by 2.8%.” The Wall Street Journal, referring to that report, said that “fracking and competitive energy markets have done more to reduce CO2 emissions over the last decade than government regulations and renewable subsidies.” Our nation is already energy-independent, thanks to President Trump. And, our success in reducing carbon dioxide emissions overwhelms the need for any discussion about the Green New Deal. Will the national media report this success?
Just before COVID-19 struck, our nation was enjoying a flourishing economy. The Trump tax cuts and the elimination of economy-dragging regulations combined to create record lows in Black and Hispanic unemployment.
The Survey of Consumer Finances conducted by the Federal Reserve confirmed that median real income grew from 2016 to 2019, “and many groups with historically lower income and wealth saw relatively large gains.” As the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board put it, “That’s a long way of saying wealth inequality declined.” And this occurred during the Trump Administration. Have you read this before today?
Now, as we climb out of the economic hole caused by COVID-19, we look forward to a rapid and solid return to the incredible economy we enjoyed before the pandemic. Watch the employment numbers, business reopenings, new business starts and the stock market. The stock market is important because of the more than 100 million Americans who depend on the stability of their company-sponsored pension funds and/or their individual retirement accounts.
As LNP | LancasterOnline’s Chad Umble reported last week, Lancaster County new unemployment claims show signs of leveling off. This is “a good sign,” Naomi Young, director of the Center for Regional Analysis of the Economic Development Company of Lancaster County, told Umble. “It suggests employers have ‘stabilized’ the worker component of their business operations in this COVID environment.”
Can you just hear the media cheers?
Finally, another critical Trump success can be seen in the confirmation process now underway for Amy Coney Barrett. Her confirmation as associate justice to the nation’s Supreme Court will create a 6-3 conservative majority on the high court.
Court-watchers are quick to point out that justices do not consistently vote in anticipated ways. However, my comfort comes from Judge Barrett’s adherence to the Constitution and her belief that the Supreme Court must not act as if it were a legislative body. Her confirmation will help keep clear the demarcation among the three branches of our nation’s government.
If Biden wins the White House and Democrats win control of the U.S. Senate, there may be a move to pack the court by appointing additional liberal justices. As liberals see it, this would be “rebalancing the court.” In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt launched such an effort, but failed. Unfortunately, Biden and Harris have been reticent about their position on court packing. Biden finally said last week that he’s “not a fan,” but he may face pressure from his party’s progressives. Will the national media pin him down on what will happen if he faces such pressure?
Democrats, meanwhile, contend that Republicans have “packed” the court by refusing to consider President Barack Obama’s 2016 Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, and by pushing through Barrett close to the election. These Democrats are trying to redefine the established meaning of the term, “court packing.” They must really believe that voters are dumb.
I’d like to see the national media squash this despicable trick. Filling a vacant Supreme Court seat is not court packing.
Unfortunately, President Trump continues to be treated unfairly by the national liberal media. When the nation’s news is unfairly biased, the whole nation loses. An intentionally uninformed electorate is death to democracy.
Stuart Wesbury, a professor emeritus in Arizona State University’s School of Health Administration and Policy, is a resident of Willow Street. He has a Ph.D. in economics and business administration. He is a former community member of the LNP Editorial Board.